CRM strategy for CRM success
Create a CRM strategy in 7 steps to improve your customer relationships, increase your revenue and unlock the full potential of CRM solutions
Last updated January 16, 2023
Customer relationship management (CRM) software lets sales teams focus on what they do best–selling. But the right CRM software will only get you so far, even if it’s as intuitive and powerful as Zendesk.
Although no longer bogged down with paperwork and data entry, few sales teams take full advantage of these tools. This means they’re missing opportunities and slowing growth despite their best efforts. What they need is a strategy–a CRM strategy.
What is CRM strategy?
In simple terms, a CRM strategy is a company-wide plan to grow sales and improve customer service. You can think of it as your CRM game plan. It sets out how you intend to reach your CRM goals and use your CRM solution.
Why is CRM strategy important?
Setting a clear path helps you get the most out of your CRM software and enhance your customer relationships. Because although Zendesk holds great power, it’s not magic (we think).
The right CRM strategy helps you identify which customer segments to target, what kind of relationship you want with each segment, and how to manage and grow these relationships over time.
A CRM strategy can help you:
Manage customer relationships better
Utilise your CRM solution fully
Bring down costs by increasing efficiency
Grow your business by improving customer experiences
It’s all about seizing the benefits your CRM has to offer, ensuring everyone is pulling in the same direction, and connecting with your customers.
How do you create a CRM strategy?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to CRM strategy. Every business is different, and they all use CRM platforms differently. So, the best way to create your very own CRM strategy is to start by looking at what your organisation and customers need.
Here are seven steps to help you build your own CRM strategy:
1. Define your why
The first step in any CRM strategy is to define your goals. What are you hoping to achieve with CRM? Most organisations want to improve customer satisfaction or increase sales. But you might have other goals like reducing customer churn or improving customer loyalty. The key is to set clear and achievable goals. If you’re struggling, start by looking at problems in your sales department. Don’t forget to define which key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to track each goal.
2. Prioritise your customers
Although it might seem counterintuitive, prioritising customers is key to business success. CRM allows you to prioritise customers based on how profitable they are likely to be. For instance, repeat customers are more valuable as they tend to spend significantly more than new customers. This not only helps you focus your resources on the customer segments that will generate the most value, but also target your marketing and sales efforts more effectively.
3. Get your employees on board
Even the best CRM strategy in the world will fail without employee buy-in. So, keep them in the loop and show them how changes will benefit them–after all, they’re the ones who will determine whether you achieve your goals. Communicating with your teams also helps them internalise your goals and take ownership of where your company is heading.
4. Look at the customer journey
CRM systems can capture data at every stage of the customer journey. Map out your ideal customer journey through your sales funnel to make sure no customer slips through the cracks. Experience shows this often reveals specific features you’re likely to use much more than others. Don’t forget to check what your potential customers are sharing on social media as this will help you better understand what they want.
5. Choose the right CRM solution
There are many CRM solutions on the market, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for your business. Consider your budget, needs, and the features offered by different CRM solutions. But remember: automating relevant administrative tasks and connecting any appropriate touchpoints allows you to focus on what’s important–selling more products and services. Zendesk Sell has everything you need in one place, from pipeline visibility to task automation and lead management.
6. Implement CRM software
Implementing a CRM solution can be a complex process, so it’s important to plan. Make sure you’re syncing everything to your CRM, e.g. client meetings, cancellations, and other changes, and focus on how your CRM can make your interactions smoother. Top tip: develop a CRM onboarding process for your teams (e.g. manuals and training videos).
7. Measure your results
Once you’ve implemented a CRM tool, you need to keep track of progress. Set specific, measurable goals and check your KPIs. Look at things like customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and customer retention rates. Don’t forget to also fine-tune both your tone and messaging.
CRM is ultimately a tool. And like all tools, you need a clear but adaptable strategy to realise its full potential. Of course, this takes time but it pays off because getting your CRM strategy right brings you closer to your customers and improves your relationships.
Zendesk is here to help. We’re experts in CRM and can help you implement a CRM solution that’s right for both your business and CRM strategy. Sell is our powerful and user-friendly CRM software for sales teams. Try it for free for 14 days.
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